Is Drawing a Talent or Skill? The truth about learning how to Draw.

I asked myself this question when I first startet to draw and to be honest, I asked it myself a lot whenever I got frustrated with learning how to draw.

So is drawing a talent or skill? Drawing is a Skill, so you can learn how to draw even if you are not talented. It will take more time and effort but generally the artists who are not that talented most of the time outperform the talented artists in the long run.

What is talent?

The official deffinition, according to the Dictunary is as follows:

A natural ability to be good at something, especially without being taught.

dictionary.cambridge.org

So on the first look, this sounds unfair. A talented person is good at something without really being taught at it and without really practicing it as much as you would normally have to.

But being talented isn´t necessarily as good as you might think. Because talented people never had to actively sit down and learn the thing, that they are good at. So after a certain point, the point where they have to actively learn to get better, they will just get stuck there and not Improve as fast as before.

Why is not being talented actually an advantage?

This sounds weird I know. Why is it an advantage to not be talented? Well, actually the answer is pretty easy. Because talented people are used to being good at their talent without actively learning.

So when you are not talented but you are passionate about or interested enough to sit down and learn the foundations of drawing and practice regularly I guarantee you, you will eventually get better than any talented person.

Drawing is a Skill.

A skill is something, that can be learned through practice and learning it the right way. Drawing is a Skill, that you can learn no matter if you are talented or not. But it will take a little more time to learn.

How can I learn Drawing the right way?

So if you want to learn drawing, then you will have a lot to learn. But don´t get discouraged! Here are the Fundamentals, that you have to learn in order to Improve at drawing fast.

  • Perspective
  • Anatomy
  • Rendering (Light and Shadow)
  • Color theory

You don´t need to learn them in this order but I would recommend you to. These are all huge topics but if you go through them methodicly, then you will learn them quite fast.

But don´t expect to learn everything right away. It will take years until you are confident in every aspect of these fundamentals. But you will see Improvements right away when you start to learn these fundamentals.

My tips for learning how to draw effectively

When you are learning how to draw, there are a lot of things, that you can do wrong, when starting out. These mistakes won´t “hurt” you or your ability to learn to draw but they will waste time and effort.

Tip Number one. Ask questions!

Don´t just blindly draw something. When you are drawing then consciously ask yourself questions. Questions like:

  • What forms is this made out of
  • What changes if I look at it from another angle
  • How does the object funktion
  • etc.

These questions will help you understand the object, that you are drawing. Understanding something means that you will eventually be able to draw it from memory.

Tip Number two. Don´t draw what you know!

Humans tend to like what we know. So we rarely step out of our comfort zone. But in order to learn something new, we sometimes have to force ourselves or challenge our selves with new things.

So by drawing the same thing again and again we will eventually be able to draw this one thing very well. But you will learn much faster when you force yourself to draw a lot of different things. It will be challenging and maybe a little bit frustrating at times but as long as you don´t give up, you will improve fast.

Don´t Misunderstand me though! You should draw an object multiple times in order to understand it. But don´t draw it all the time and try to draw it from different angles to understand it better.

Tip Number three. Don´t Ignore the fundamentals!

I mentioned the fundamentals above but I will repeat it here. The fundamentals are the most important thing and even though they may be boring or tedious to learn in the beginning, they are worth learning ten times over!

When you ask one hundred professional artists about the most important tip, they can give, when it comes to learning drawing. then 99% will without a doubt answer either: “don´t give up on drawing.” or “learn the fundamentals!”

So many beginners skip the fundamentals and never properly learn how perspective works or learn about human anatomy. So if you don´t skip out on the fundamentals, then you will already have an advantage over the majority of other artists.

I am not talented at drawing either!

I wasn´t talented at drawing either and I didn´t know how to properly learn how to draw or about any fundamentals in the beginning. I had to find out myself and it took me quite some time to do. But when I finally did and I learned the fundamentals and I learned efficiently I improved incredibly fast and it felt great.

So don´t give up and learn the fundamentals and eventually, maybe even faster than you think, you will be better than the talented artists out there.